Healthy schools in prestigious food honour after meal time menu rethink

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LINCOLNSHIRE schools have been given a prestigious food award.

Schools in the county that have excelled in transforming their food culture will be presented with a Bronze Award tomorrow (Thursday), in recognition of the region’s trailblazing healthy eating and practical food education.

Children and staff from 18 schools across the region are expected to attend the ceremony.

The schools work with the Food for Life Partnership to try to transform their food culture and that of their communities by working to reconnect children with growing, cooking, eating and appreciating climate-friendly and healthy food.

The Food for Life Partnership Bronze Award means that schools have started to serve seasonal school meals, with 75% of the dishes being freshly prepared by a very well-trained school cook.

Pupils and parents are also involved in planning improvements to school menus and the dining experience, and every pupil has the opportunity to visit a farm and do cooking and food growing activities during his or her time at school.

Andrea McCormack, a healthy schools coordinator at one of the county’s schools, said: “Through the support of the partnership team and the achievement of the Bronze Food for Life Partnership Award, we have raised awareness and begun to change the food culture at our school.

“We’ve consulted with the children regarding lunchtimes and have made changes to improve the lunchtime experience.

“Some of our younger children have just completed a growing project whereby they grew vegetables in recycled containers such as milk crates, milk containers and juice containers.

“They then used the potatoes to make a special salad and took the salad home to share with their family along with the recipe. “We believe that everyone deserves to have the opportunity to have knowledge of the impact of food on health and that of the planet.

“We hope that the knowledge the children are gaining from this initiative will have an impact on future generations to lead a healthy lifestyle.”

The schools are catered for by caterers First College, Food for Thought and The Farm Kitchen.

Food for Thought and The Farm Kitchen have achieved the Gold Food for Life Catering Mark for their high-quality, climate-friendly and organic meals.

Victoria Howe, Director of The Farm Kitchen, said: “We are very proud of our Gold award and very much enjoy working with The Food for Life Partnership.

“We feel passionately that the benefits of eating high quality delicious meals and having an understanding of where and how they have been produced, are fundamental to life.”

The Food for Life Partnership is a network of schools and communities across England committed to transforming food culture.

The initiative is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and led by the Soil Association.

l Healthy foods like fruit and vegetables have played a big role in the scheme.